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S03.E08: Six Short Stories About Magic

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I wasn't that excited about the description of this episode because it sounded like everything would be fragmented, but I actually enjoyed it. I wanted more Eliot and Margo after last week's cliffhanger, but the episode worked for me overall. Loved Fen calling Alice out for her self pity when compared to the tragedy she is processing. Loved the sequence in silence. Overall, I thought it was a tight episode, if incredibly dark.

The origin of the powder was pretty horrifying. 

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That wasn't exactly what I expected, but I really liked it. I thought they would be 6 vignettes, but really it was more like 6 interlocking stories, with a lot of it being the same scenes, but told in different points of view. I like when the show plays around with structure, and this was one of their more unique episodes. 

I think my favorite part was Harriet's segment, and how everything was quiet to show how she sees/hears the world around her. Plus, holy crap, shes the daughter of the librarian! I loved the constant flashes in time, with Harriet growing and her mom staying the same, and all the sign language interludes. 

Following that was Fen and Julia hanging out, and finding out that fairies are being enslaved and harvested for drug use. That is just...super creepy and dark, even by this shows standards. Of course Fen will still show compassion to faeries when she realizes how bad their situation is, even if Fillory fairies have totally screwed her over several times. Because Fen is awesome. 

Love the running commentary by Penny as he reads all the stuff going on in the rest of the episode. Especially his reactions to Q having multiple sex scenes, and the wombat apparently leading the peasant uprising. 

My one complaint? Not enough Elliot and Margot. What the hell is happening there?

Heres to a season 4 renewal! Looks like magic might be coming back!

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17 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Heres to a season 4 renewal! Looks like magic might be coming back!

If not, it looks like Fillory is full of fairies that nobody would feel sad about grinding up into magical fairy dust, until magic does officially come back.

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Directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield.  THat's just nifty.

 

Penny trading (fake) Game of Thrones spoilers for information in the Underworld was hilarious.  It's a passing thought about death I have all the time; all of those books and tv shows I'd never get to finish.

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7 hours ago, millahnna said:

Penny trading (fake) Game of Thrones spoilers for information in the Underworld was hilarious.  It's a passing thought about death I have all the time; all of those books and tv shows I'd never get to finish.

Me too. I keep having to live for things; the last Harry Potter book, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, etc.. and now the last season of Game of Thrones, lol.

So.. Harriet is the library lady's kid. Did anyone see that one coming? I have some questions:

  • When did she get pregnant? Did she do that pregnancy in like a million years of library time or did she step out of there for nine months?
  • Same question for Harriet growing up.
  • Biggest question: Who the daddy?!

Alice. I honestly don't know what is up with her, she keeps changing her stance on whether they need magic to come back. Her story is muddled for me right now, hopefully it will all make sense in the end.

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1 hour ago, festivus said:

Me too. I keep having to live for things; the last Harry Potter book, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, etc.. and now the last season of Game of Thrones, lol.

So.. Harriet is the library lady's kid. Did anyone see that one coming? I have some questions:

  • When did she get pregnant? Did she do that pregnancy in like a million years of library time or did she step out of there for nine months?
  • Same question for Harriet growing up.
  • Biggest question: Who the daddy?!

Alice. I honestly don't know what is up with her, she keeps changing her stance on whether they need magic to come back. Her story is muddled for me right now, hopefully it will all make sense in the end.

This is a recurring concern of mine as well. The idea of an unfinished book next to my bed when I die makes me really sad. 

We don't know that there is a biological connection. She may have adopted Harriet. That being said, I suspect there may be some really interesting reveals down the road on this, and I now find myself curious about Harriet's age. If she grew up in the library, she could be much older than she appears. Their fights were really sad to me.  The Librarian (do we know her name?) trying to keep everything neat and orderly while her daughter rebels. You could really understand both of their perspectives, and their sadness/regret was palpable. 

Overall, I was really impressed that the writers seemed to put a lot of thought into the sequence from Harriet's perspective. I think this show has done a great job featuring Deaf actresses and not doing the weird "I am going to repeat everything the Deaf character just said for the comfort of those who are not used to sign language" bit. 

So, was that the answer on the great blank spot, then? They library's ability to write stories is suspended because magic is gone? 

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2 hours ago, festivus said:

Me too. I keep having to live for things; the last Harry Potter book, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, etc.. and now the last season of Game of Thrones, lol.

 

I swear, I tweeted at The Magicians about that this morning (and I keep my Twitter feed  all super serious political stuff). I wrote, "Been terminal awhile and never worried about missing the last book or episode of a series. But I'm going to need someone to visit the Underworld and catch me up on Season 4 (yay! And hopefully Season 5 and 6 and...). This beautiful, funny show!" I never do that! But I thought last night was brilliant and overall I love the storytelling of this show. It has such heart. 

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56 minutes ago, The Companion said:

We don't know that there is a biological connection. She may have adopted Harriet.

True that. I do think Harriet may be very very old. Since time basically stands still in the library she could have been a little girl there for a very long time.

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This show just keeps hitting it out of the park this season. Another brilliant episode. I didn't even mind that Eliot and Margo were largely absent because the format was so clever and unique, and the plot really advanced as well. But, are Harriet and Victoria stuck in the mirror bridge now? It seemed that way.

This episode answered a lot of questions and I appreciated that. So, Irene McCallistair has tricked these fairies into believing she is protecting them but then grinding their flesh and bones into a fine powder for magic. Wow. Really did not see that coming but I'm glad they revealed what was going on there. 

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that Cassandra was played by Olivia Taylor Dudley. My gut reaction was that Alice is going to make some kind of deal with the librarian which will keep her in the library for eternity so because of some kind of timey-wimey thing, Alice and Cassandra are actually one and the same.

Quote

The Librarian (do we know her name?)

She's only listed as "the librarian" in the credits, so - no.

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18 minutes ago, iMonrey said:
Quote

The Librarian (do we know her name?)

She's only listed as "the librarian" in the credits, so - no.

Doesn't her name begin with a "Z"? I seem to remember that from last season when Penny was trying to find out.

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19 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

 

She's only listed as "the librarian" in the credits, so - no.

Thanks. I am terrible with names, so it was a 50/50 chance I just forgot. 

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I believe it was Zelda. I think that Sylvia was eating her lunch and the bag said Zelda on it. I don't think anyone has ever said her name out loud on the show though.

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I thought this was a great episode. The best part was the silent section with the Librarian and Harriet. It was so good!

I think Cassandra is Alice, a future Alice anyway. There has to be a reason why they had the same actress play her other than to mess with Penny's head. I could see in the future Alice's quest for more information and more magical knowledge getting screwed by her ambitions once again and ending up as Alice. We've already had Quentin be several characters from the Fillory books.

Congratulations show for making me and Fen sympathetic to the fairies. They're being held as slaves and somehow think they are the only fairies left after other magicians have hunted them?

I continue to be over Poppy.

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This show is knocking it out of the park on showing how casting should be done. The use of two authentic Deaf/ASL-speaking actresses to play younger versions of Marlee Matlin (after her part wasn't even originally written for a Deaf actor in the first place), in addition to having Candis Cayne play a cisgendered role?

Great opportunities for visibility on top of great storytelling, and we're getting to see some great performances on top of it, even though they're not calling much attention to it. That little Deaf girl especially was outstanding. So expressive and compelling. I don't know much ASL, but I enjoy watching good ASL-speaking actors at work because the language is so expressive, and she knocked it out of the park. 

That whole silent sequence was great and caught me by surprise. Has there even been anything like that on TV since Switched at Birth? It felt completely natural and authentic to the character. Marlee Matlin must be loving getting to play a storyline where the fact that her character is Deaf is almost completely irrelevant to the story they're telling. 

Edited by Kareny
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Does make me wonder about the Fillory Fairies. Do they know what's happening with the Earth bound Fairies, is that why they're building up their numbers in Fillory. Are they refugees from Earth ? Somewhere else?

I have to say that Penny really grated this episode. He's bugging me more than Julia this season. Julia is actually kind of tolerable now. Perhaps because she's being helpful for a change.

I do wonder about Cassandra. Is she an ancestor of Alice or a future version of her or something weirder ? 

At least Harriet sort of makes more sense now. Her stance has always seemed kind of weird and nonsensical, letting anyone access the information about the magical equivalent of nukes seems foolhardy and dangerous. Now, we know it's mix of youthful rebellion and restlessness about the Library's policies of staying out of the story. 

I'm only mildly concerned that Harriet and Victoria are dead or alive. Seriously Travellers tend not to be a cheerful bunch, at least not the men anyway. 

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32 minutes ago, wayne67 said:

Does make me wonder about the Fillory Fairies. Do they know what's happening with the Earth bound Fairies, is that why they're building up their numbers in Fillory. Are they refugees from Earth ? Somewhere else?

Oh, I think that's a given. When they found the suitcase of faerie powder in the library, I said, "No wonder the Fairies are pissed". 

This episode had 'experimental season 3' written all over it but it was damn good. The camera work, the use of sound, the narrative format were all so well done. This is such impressive television. 

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Quote

That whole silent sequence was great and caught me by surprise. Has there even been anything like that on TV since Switched at Birth? 

The thing about that segment is that it makes you watch the subtitles and then you realize you can't really look at much else except for occasional glimpses when they're not talking. Which maybe gives you some insight about how their lives actually are. It's gotta be distracting - it's certainly a different awareness.

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On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 10:06 PM, wayne67 said:

Does make me wonder about the Fillory Fairies. Do they know what's happening with the Earth bound Fairies, is that why they're building up their numbers in Fillory.

 

On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 10:41 PM, AudienceofOne said:

Oh, I think that's a given. When they found the suitcase of faerie powder in the library, I said, "No wonder the Fairies are pissed". 

My mind is a dark and twistier place,.

It immediately jumped to the mushroom field basically being a poppy field to grow fairies to create drugs.

I haven't quite worked out the mechanics of that given that its being grown by fairies.  But there are enslaved fairies.  Maybe the Fairie in Fillory is an outcast that is running an evil plot to overthrow the good fairies and is willing to feed fairies to magicians to gain the power to do so.

I just find the imagery of a poppy/mushroom field too spot on and a better fit with some of the darker tones of this show. 

The magician cartel or library doesn't seem big and scary enough to need to grow a fairy army to fight it.  Plus the threat is too new.  Its only once magicians lost magic that the ability to inhale fairies to get magic became a bigger problem.  Before they just had random non-magical humans doing this.  Now they've got a bunch of people educated about magic wanting their magic back.  So I see the potential threat but its too new. 

Someone has to be really forward thinking (like creating plan Z in case A-Y fail) and fairies have to hatch fully grown and ready to fight to make this a plausible solution to the magician problem. 

Edited by ParadoxLost
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4 hours ago, ParadoxLost said:

The magician cartel or library doesn't seem big and scary enough to need to grow a fairy army to fight it.  Plus the threat is too new.  Its only once magicians lost magic that the ability to inhale fairies to get magic became a bigger problem.  Before they just had random non-magical humans doing this.  Now they've got a bunch of people educated about magic wanting their magic back.  So I see the potential threat but its too new. 

Someone has to be really forward thinking (like creating plan Z in case A-Y fail) and fairies have to hatch fully grown and ready to fight to make this a plausible solution to the magician problem. 

But wouldn’t that be possible with Cassandra/Alice?  I suppose they made some deal with her so that she “kmows everything” and she didn’t read the fine print.

This was a pretty brutal episode.  The collapse of the mirror bridge because of that thug was awful and i don’t really get what the dead girl got for turning Penny in.  Not to mention the fairy torture.  

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8 minutes ago, morakot said:

I am really loving this season. That is all. :-)

Me too. It's amazing

What I really love about it to is that minor characters like Fen and Harriet and Benedict that a lot of shows would discard or use as props have real plot lines and motivations.

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I liked the silent scenes with ASL only. But mostly I found the episode too confusing because I'd missed some of the beginning, and it seemed so fragmented. I'm very curious about why Cassandra looks like Alice.

Spoiler

None of this storyline was in any of the books.

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11 minutes ago, KaleyFirefly said:

I liked the silent scenes with ASL only. But mostly I found the episode too confusing because I'd missed some of the beginning, and it seemed so fragmented. I'm very curious about why Cassandra looks like Alice.

  Reveal hidden contents

None of this storyline was in any of the books.

I thought that was because she is somehow the result of whatever deal Alice is about to make with the Librarian.

 

as to your spoiler block you are right.  And it is a bit difficult to figure out the end game on it.

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On ‎4‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 10:27 AM, call me ishmael said:

I thought that was because she is somehow the result of whatever deal Alice is about to make with the Librarian.

 

as to your spoiler block you are right.  And it is a bit difficult to figure out the end game on it.

This could explain why Penny was betrayed actually. If the library is built around an Alice that made a deal for knowledge then at some point they need Alice to make that deal. If Penny tells Alice he saw her - or even a woman who looked like her - then it's possible she won't make whatever decision leads here there. So they need to make sure Penny can't warn her. Dead girl (what is her name?) would no doubt put the existence of the Library first.

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15 minutes ago, AudienceofOne said:

This could explain why Penny was betrayed actually. If the library is built around an Alice that made a deal for knowledge then at some point they need Alice to make that deal. If Penny tells Alice he saw her - or even a woman who looked like her - then it's possible she won't make whatever decision leads here there. So they need to make sure Penny can't warn her. Dead girl (what is her name?) would no doubt put the existence of the Library first.

That’s an interesting idea.  I had been thinking that Alice was making the deal “now” but maybe they offer it to her and she only accepts later.

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1 hour ago, call me ishmael said:

That’s an interesting idea.  I had been thinking that Alice was making the deal “now” but maybe they offer it to her and she only accepts later.

Even if she's making the deal right now, if Penny returned with the key then he could have run into her and told her. She approaches the deal with more caution and is never 'created'.

It seems then that Alice is the victim of her own foresight - she has written that Penny is captured so therefore Penny is captured and only by Penny being captured can she be given the foresight to predict Penny's capture.

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I love the revaluation that Travelers have a tendency to be roguish and snarky. Explains a lot about Penny! 

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On 3/1/2018 at 1:28 PM, festivus said:

I believe it was Zelda. I think that Sylvia was eating her lunch and the bag said Zelda on it. I don't think anyone has ever said her name out loud on the show though.

You're right.  The librarian's name is Zelda.  At 2:01 in the Inside The Magicians clip shared above by @ElectricBoogaloo Executive Producer Sera Gamble refers to her as "the librarian, Zelda the librarian."  Great catch on the lunch bag!

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So, since Library!Rapunzel said she is NOT Alice, any speculation on why she looks exactly LIKE Alice? During Alice's short story, I was worried that she would make a deal with Head Librarian to get the books she wanted, and in return she would be sent back in time ten thousand years and be stuck in that room for Penny to find.

Edited by CigarDoug

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On 3/1/2018 at 12:48 PM, iMonrey said:

This show just keeps hitting it out of the park this season. Another brilliant episode. I didn't even mind that Eliot and Margo were largely absent because the format was so clever and unique, and the plot really advanced as well. But, are Harriet and Victoria stuck in the mirror bridge now? It seemed that way.

I think Harriet and Victoria are dead. If anyone actually dies in this show.

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